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Summary

The Chrysalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation.

Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction - unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work.

David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.

At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that he, too, is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce him to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.

The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work from the classic era of science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the Cold War.

©2008 John Wyndham (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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classic

I have read this so many times but I think this is the best way to enjoy a great story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

A captivating and visionary scifi novel that is in many aspects more current than ever.

Following the protagonist's strugggle against intolerance in a post-apocalyptic world is gripping, at times gloomy but also hopeful and heart warming.

The narration is absolutely brilliant for this book and creates the perfect atmosphere.

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Potent reflection on fundamentalism and difference

I read this book as a teenager - several times - and it really changed how I saw the world back then. I was an idealistic teen and quite fundamental in my thoughts. I am now in my fifties, changed somewhat (I hope) and I have re-visited this disturbing tale of the future. It packs a punch - maybe now more than then. Fundamentalists are everywhere, claiming their truths as the only truths. And even the saviours might be fundamentalist too. Powerful book - it's not very long but so worth your time.

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Great classic

John Wyndham was a really formidable writer of science fiction With the Triffids as the leading example

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The Chrysalids.

Writing style a bit dated obviously, but none the worse for it. This is the third John Wyndham book I have listened to recently, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Brings back memories of when I first read them more than 50 years ago !

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A fine story, well-narrated.!

Wyndham's stories always leave you reflecting for days afterwards on the main themes. His focus on outsiders in adversity is always carefully explored in every detail.

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  • Nick
  • Kent UK
  • 23-04-18

kind of plausible

Have you listened to any of Graeme Malcolm’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I liked Graeme's narration. It was just the right speed and his voice was relaxing to listen to

Any additional comments?

A post apocalyptic world where religious zealots dictate people's thought processes and "abnormal" people are excluded or sterilized. I quite enjoyed the book although it did get a little bogged down in the middle with superfluous minor storey lines. A long build up and then the end came very quickly and seemed a little hurried. Having said that I could image that humans could behave like this under these circumstances

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  • Caleigh
  • 11-03-18

Good reading of great story

This is such a classic novel and I am glad the audiobook measured up. My husband had never read the book and found the audiobook very easy to follow.

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  • Tyson
  • 15-10-17

great listen

one of my favourite books ever. this was very well done. screw Flanders, screw Flanders.

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  • korneel
  • 29-09-17

This is how a post apocalyptic story should go

I'm not a huge fan of post apocalyptic stories, they tend to have too much in common. This said i must say i liked this one. In the style how its written you can feel its from 50 years ago and that can get a little annoying. i started reading this because i loved some of this writers other work and I don't regret it.